High West Whiskey – Bourye vs Son of Bourye

Park City, Utah – Both bottled at 46%ABV (or 92 proof)

“Oh, how cruel!!  Oh, the humanity!  Yossi is pitting father against son!  How could he do it?  Does he have no heart?!  Isn’t he, himself, a father?!”


Like I’m the first to have even put a father vs son (or vice versa) in a story before.  Have you never heard of the binding of Issac?  Abraham was totally going to knife his kid!

Then there’s the misunderstanding between fathers and sons. Let’s think of Cat Stevens “Father and Son“…

Or even, the story from Harry Chapin’s “Cat’s in the Cradle” – talk about a tear jerker!

What about Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker?!

Nah, what I’m offering up is not as intense as the aforementioned daddy-issue, issues.  Today we have a couple of very interesting bourbon/rye blends from High West.  First up:

High West Bourye – 46% ABV$55

Details on this whiskey from the High West folks:

“Bourye’s unique blend features three whiskies: a 10-year-old bourbon with a mash bill of 75 percent corn, 20 percent rye and 5 percent barley malt; a 12-year-old straight rye whiskey that’s 95 percent rye and five percent barley malt; and finally a 16-year-old straight rye with 53 percent rye, 37 percent corn and 10 percent malt. “

On the nose –  Much softer than previous High West Whiskeys I’ve tried but that lovely pickley-dill (piccadilly palare?) quality is wafting about.

Fresh cut grass and shots of wheatgrass.

Fennel seeds (again, like other High West).  Charred oak is obvious.

There is a corn-like quality here though, sweet creamed corn.

On the mouth – VERY much a bourbon.

The sweetness is here and the spice is slight.  Soft in the mouth, not very aggressive.

The second sip reverses the preceding sentence.

Pumpkin spices: Cinnamon, cardamom (slight), nutmeg, allspice (what the heck is allspice anyway?).

A very present and attention demanding whiskey.

Finish – Shortish with lingering vanilla and wood.

High West Bourye – 46% ABV$42

Details on this whiskey from the High West folks:

“Not chill filtered, not carbon treated. Whiskey #1: 5yr Old Bourbon- 75% corn, 20% rye, 5% barley malt, Whiskey #2: 3yr Old Rye – 95% rye, 5% barley malt. The ratios of whiskies are top secret! However, no bourbon today has more rye in the final product!”

On the nose –  Quite a different animal as compared his pop – peppermint and floral air fresheners.

Much more “clean” smelling than Mr. Bourye Senior.

Laminated cardboard candy boxes (that once held candy).

Cut greens yet not like grass – sweet spouts perhaps.

Pencil shavings and wood char.

On the mouth – If Bourye is taking the low road, Son of Bourye is taking the high road.  Not sure how to put this into words but this is light and airy compared to Bourye.

Very grassy which is not something I often get in American whiskeys.  Vegetal and garden like but not garden variety.  Focusing on greens, sweet greens.

The rye in present here, seemingly more so, in comparison with the Bourye, with some added citrus and spice.

Quite fresh and almost palate cleansing (yet full of flavor).  This is a kooky lil’ guy!  Me likey!

Finish – It’s all about subtlety here.  If you pay attention, the finish is long with a slight sweetness.  Spice & citrus all along the edges.

In sum – This is a tough one.  If you like the more fierce bourbons with a high-rye, slightly spicy type quality, then Bourye is for you.  I quite enjoyed the off-the-beaten-pathedness of the Son of Bourye.  It’s a wholly new experience — one that has won my heart.  Son of Bourye had me at Hello.

**As a note: these older whiskeys from High West have not been distilled at their location. Rather, they have purchased this whiskey and, as you can see, are making some amazing blends from that stock. The good news for you is two fold: 1) They have a good deal of this older, purchased stock and 2) High West is also now a true distillery and has been for a few years so we should be seeing some younger stuff come from them very shortly!!**

Special thanks goes out to David Perkins and Erik Fitchett for the samples!!